Any American Cocker breeders that leave natural tails?

Discussion in 'The Breeding Ground' started by Sparrow, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. SevenSins

    SevenSins Guest

    Flyinsbt, just for the sake of argument - if I came to you for a Staffy puppy (assuming that you'd known me long enough to know that I'd provide a good, knowledgeable and breed-experienced home) and ...for whatever reason, I assume because I thought it would look better than all-natural... requested that you essentially concede to sell me first pick of the entire litter, then dock and do dewclaws on the pup, and have its ears cropped, would you do it? What would you do if I got the puppy home and our personalities completely clashed?
     
  2. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Does a tail make a dog unable to be returned and rehomed in a pet or sport home?
     
  3. SevenSins

    SevenSins Guest

    Unable? Well, no, I wouldn't think so. More difficult? It depends. A lot of people simply won't adopt a traditionally cropped or docked (in their country) breed that's been left natural, so that definitely can make them more difficult to place. I can only speak for myself but if I was looking for a pet Dobe, or Boxer, I wouldn't adopt an undocked dog for the same reason I wouldn't adopt something like a cropped Rottweiler.
     
  4. Julee

    Julee UNSTOPPABLE

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    On the other hand, Seven, there are people who wait specifically for an all-natural dog of a certain breed that they can adopt. If I was adopting a Dobe, I'd be ecstatic to find an all-natural dog. Same goes with a Boxer, a Rottweiler, a Dane, a Poodle, a Cocker, etc.
     
  5. SevenSins

    SevenSins Guest

    Sure they do, but they normally wait for one of those from rescue or foreign breeder for the reason I originally stated: What sort of breeder is going to make an exception and allow someone to pick out a dog at just a couple days old, with absolutely no way to determine the temperament and personality of the puppy, just because they want an all-natural dog, if the breed is required to be docked as per the breed standard?

    The argument could be made that the person just wants a pet or wants a performance dog, and doesn't care about the breed ring. Fine, but you still run into the problem of the puppy's temperament, personality, drive, etc, clashing with what the potential owner actually wants, regardless of whether they'll concede to being stuck with whatever puppy they get no matter what. As a buyer, I wouldn't want to be stuck with a puppy I clashed with, and as a breeder I can't even imagine a scenario where I would be comfortable with putting myself, my puppies or a potential puppy buyer in that position.
     
  6. Flyinsbt

    Flyinsbt New Member

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    I've actually seen a Stafford that the owner had cropped. I didn't approve, because I don't like cropping, but it's been known to happen, and probably wouldn't affect the ability to rehome a dog. Removing dewclaws is allowed in the standard, so that part isn't really relevant, most SBT owners just don't choose to do it. I know my dogs use theirs, other breeders just don't want the unnecessary expense/effort.

    The fact is, there are good and valid reasons to want a natural dog, besides liking a certain look. If someone came to me wanting a Stafford pup with pieces cut off of it because they preferred the look, our values would already be clashing to the point where it was obvious they wouldn't be an appropriate home for one of my pups. So no, it wouldn't seem like a perfect home.

    If there were some reason that a person could come up with that a docked/cropped dog would be better at something, or they could take that docked/cropped dog to compete in an area which they couldn't do with a natural dog, it might be more of a point of discussion.

    Look, I'm not saying this is a choice you need to make with your own dogs. They are your dogs, set the criteria you like. I just object, rather strongly, to being told that a breeder is "irresponsible" for wanting to put a dog in a really good home, or for being open to the idea that there might be reasons to leave a dog natural. (the line my friend is supposed to use, btw, if people ask, is that the dog might be competing in Europe. Her actual reason for wanting a tail was to improve the dog's abilities in agility. There are actually a ton of tailed Poodles in agility these days, my friend just wanted one from this breeder.)
     
  7. CatStina

    CatStina SBT Lover!!

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    Wanting a dog with a natural tail that is generally cut off and wanting a dog with cropped ears and docked tail of a breed that is supposed to have natural ears and tail are two completely different things and not at all comparable...
     
  8. Emily

    Emily Rollin' with my bitches

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    How so?

    (I have no horse in this race! I'm just curious.)
     
  9. CatStina

    CatStina SBT Lover!!

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    Do you really not see why wanting someone to perform unnecessary surgery on a breed that does not generally have such surgeries is different from not wanting someone to perform surgery on your future puppy when it isn't necessary?
     
  10. Emily

    Emily Rollin' with my bitches

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    Did you really not see that I was just curious?

    I don't know, we do lots of unnecessary things to dogs based on things like our lifestyles, personal preferences, breed standards, goals, etc. I don't know that I personally find cropping an untraditional breed "worse" than cropping a traditional breed, except where it affects the dogs welfare, i.e. if the dog or mix had ears were likely to suffer or unlikely to ever stand after being cropped.

    I was hoping you might have a thoughtful answer based on things like the factors I presented above. Or maybe based on something I'd never even thought of, which would be even more interesting. You seem to hold your point as being self evident. I disagree, and thought you might have something interesting to contribute.
     
  11. Sparrow

    Sparrow New Member

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    Oh, I hadn't considered this. I know they have to leave tails on dogs bred there unless there's a health-related reason to dock, but would I really not be able to bring in a docked dog from America to compete? I'm not interested in comformation, but do want to be very serious in agility.

    I plan to do some international travel, so maybe it'd be best to get a pup overseas at that time and bring it back with me.
     
  12. SevenSins

    SevenSins Guest

    The breeder isn't irresponsible for being open to the idea of natural tails. The breeder is irresponsible for allowing someone to pick a puppy out at 2-3 days old and having the puppy buyer promise to take whatever they get. "It's to improve their abilities in agility!" So, uh, what happens when that puppy turns out to be a dead-head? Or the rest of the dog's structure, since a tail isn't the end-all, be-all to speed and balance, isn't conductive to doing well in agility? I'm happy that it worked out for that particular buyer. I could go down to the local Walmart parking lot and get a dog that may work out for me, too, but that wouldn't inherently make the breeder a responsible or ethical person.

    How so? One breed is supposed to be docked, per the breed standard. The other is supposed to be undocked, per the breed standard. There is no difference, IMO, because having had experience with docking and cropping, I don't view docking and cropping as cruel or barbaric. That said, I realize some people don't like it, but if someone is that morally against docking, why on earth would they support a breeder who typically docks puppies in a traditionally docked breed to begin with, when they have the choice of getting an undocked dog elsewhere?
     
  13. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    I don't know that I'd consider docking/cropping to be such a sacrosanct part of a breed standard that not doing it for pet puppies is "breeding away from the standard."

    And although I agree that it's a bit hinky to pick a puppy at 2-3 days old, for a pet quality puppy of a breed like American cocker spaniels... honestly I think the odds are pretty good that almost any puppy from the litter of a good breeding is going to work out for most average pet owners. I'm not sure I would necessarily call that "irresponsible."
     
  14. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    I'm not a huge fan of cropping/docking. I prefer natural tails and ears. But that said, if you go into certain breeds the odds of you finding a natural tailed dog or a breeder that will leave a tail are slim. It really depends on the breeds. Pyr sheps (as example) are one breed that it seems much more likely to get a natural dog even though they're traditionally docked/cropped. Other breeds are more difficult to come by.

    It really depends on where you want to sacrifice. I don't think it's fair to ask a breeder to choose my puppy at 2-3 days old. I don't think it's fair to have them pick their own keeper puppy at 3 days old either. Now don't get me wrong, Beau was chosen for us at that age but that was because he was the only puppy. And back then we weren't interested nearly as much in the specifics of the dog.

    For me, wanting a sports dog and also a dog that I can live with with my work schedule (off switch), I need the dog evaluated. I'm looking for something specific. I don't think you can pick that at such a young age. I think your options there are to guess and hope for the best, pick another breed, import, or realize you're going to have to compromise on the tail thing. I don't think any of those choices are wrong, it just depends on what you as a potential owner are comfortable with.

    I would think cropping would be much easier to avoid since it is done later in the pup's life.
     
  15. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    May I ask what's the reason to go with an American cocker spaniel and not an English (where docking seems optional)?
     
  16. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    Truth.
     
  17. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    I agree with Sassafras both in terns of the idea that not docking is breeding away from the standard and in terms of picking a pet puppy at a super young age. I personally wouldn't want to pick a puppy so young. Still if you're going to an established breeder who tends to produce really consistent puppies, it's probably not really that big of a deal even for a performance dogs. For breeding dogs, it gets trickier because of little details that can make a big difference (like bites or males not getting their testicles or any number of things).

    The reason PyrSheps are different from a lot of traditionally docked/cropped breed in this country is because the AKC standard was written to make both docked/cropped and natural correct. Most breeds specifically state they should be cropped/docked or that is what is preferred or some other wording that gives preference or in some, pretty requires cropping/docking. It isn't uncommon for Pyrshep breeders to dock some puppies in a litter and not others. Or for cropping to be chosen for some puppies in a litter and not others. All that said, a natural PyrShep with faulty tail carriage or ear set will be faulted in the breed ring so I think a lot of people feel its "safer" for show prospects to be docked and cropped. Still it is pretty easy to find natural Pyrsheps.
     
  18. Sparrow

    Sparrow New Member

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    I grew up with one. An admitted bias. :-D I know no other dog would be the same as that one, but I'm really drawn to them because the breed helped to shape me as a child. That was when they were WAY too popular for their own good, and it seems like all my friends had one. A part of me feels like I owe it to them by giving a good home to a well-bred one after everything we put them through with BYBs, health problems, temperament issues, etc. during those years. I want to help show people what they can be when treated responsibly.

    I considered going English, and I'm not ruling that out because the tail issue is easier with them, I just really have a special place in my heart for the Americans.

    I'm not 100% against getting the right docked dog. I am super picky about what I want in a pup and from a breeder, so I'll have to compromise somewhere I'm sure. It's hard enough just finding any breeders that seem to actually care about the dogs at all. It seems we haven't completely left behind what we did to the breed in the past.
     

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